Jacob Margolis

Science Reporter

Contact Jacob Margolis

From the consequences of climate change to the next Big One, the threat of another natural disaster is never far away. I help Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and get them prepared for what’s next.

Stories by Jacob Margolis

The invasive, flammable plants making California's fires worse

The hills of Southern California are lined with invasive grasses, which after a hot, dry year, were ready to ignite with a spark.

Southern California is burning. Is climate change to blame?

Scientists say a warming planet is likely to exacerbate the factors that led to this week's firestorms.

Weed, you and 2018

You'll need to be at least 21 to buy it. Don't smoke it in public. And definitely don't give it to a minor. Everything you need to know about the legalization of recreational marijuana in California.

He was prosecuted for selling weed. Now he wants to be the McDonald's of pot

Virgil Grant started in the marijuana industry by wholesaling suitcases full of marijuana to people in Compton. Now, three decades on, he wants to run the L.A. market.

How well does Larry Mantle know pot?

We quizzed him in preparation for the rise of the recreational marijuana business in California.

LA's weather will be hot and dry — just like your Thanksgiving turkey

Gobble gobble GASP! We could see record heat on Thanksgiving, thanks in part to two high pressure systems.

This fly dives into Mono Lake, but doesn't get wet

Now scientists have figured out how the fly stays dry even though it can stay submerged for 15 minutes. Yet another otherworldly aspect of Mono Lake.

As climate shifts, California birds are nesting earlier

As global temperatures continue to climb, animals have to adapt. For 202 different species of California birds, that means nesting earlier in the year.

How the 101 is changing the way our local animals evolve

Separated by the 101 freeway, different groups of the same species are adapting to microclimates, kicking off the evolutionary process.

Ughhh, it’s 100+ degrees in SoCal. Here’s why

High pressure over the Great Basin is bringing unseasonable heat to Southern California.

A warmer, drier SoCal winter might be on tap

You can credit (or blame) La Niña. These conditions were also present last year, but California was bombarded by storms.

The space race to see 2 neutron stars violently merge

Two neutron stars collided 130 million light years away, but researchers only had hours to prepare before they'd miss their window to see the event.

Linked by tragedy, San Bernardino reflects on Las Vegas

This week's mass shooting in Las Vegas has resurfaced painful memories in the Inland Empire city -- site of firearms massacre in 2015.

Invasive species, stowed away on tsunami trash, make their way to the US

When the tsunami dragged debris from Japan into the Pacific, dozens of marine species made the trash their home. They crossed the ocean and arrived on our shores.

Tiny worm caught in the act of reproducing — by tearing itself apart

The tiny, camera shy, asexual worm has been caught in the act; research on how its two halves regenerate could help scientists learn more about how stem cells work.